Are Big Data’s Needs Outstripping Available Technical and Analytical Skills?


With the exponential growth of big data-generating applications, are we in danger of slowing our advances due to a lack of available skills?

Currently, there’s 4.4 Zettabytes – or 4.4 trillion gigabytes – of data in existence. Most of this data was generated in the last few years. This has led to a sharp and increasing demand for big data experts. The job market has evolved, and the recent advancements of big data have created new opportunities and career paths. Companies need talented individuals with analytical skills who can look at data and accurately assess information.

Social media, apps and reports have found a permanent place in the business environment. Enterprises in the United States need highly skilled professionals who understand how to work with big data technology. The reports generated by these professionals allow enterprises to develop new business and track existing customers. Information technology in business is so prevalent that even longstanding institutions such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) use innovations such as social media and big data to improve operations.

Ambitious individuals can take advantage of this trend regardless of where they are in their educational journey. With the significant demand for professionals who can work with big data technologies, even students who’ve pursued some analytical education in high school have an advantage in the workplace.

The Rapid Growth of Big Data

Whenever a digital transaction takes place, it generates data, producing business intelligence information that includes everything from the characteristics of the transaction to when the records were created and subsequently accessed. For example, every time a consumer buys something at a grocery store, big data systems collect, verify and store related information. Enterprises leaders then access this information via reports and visual dashboards. Big data analysts use this kind of detailed information to generate actionable reports and help business leaders make critical decisions which drive revenue and have a direct impact on the success or failure of organizations.

The amount of information that exists is growing quickly. Every day, consumers and businesses create data at a rate that outpaces processor speeds and the world’s economy. In fact, data grows at a rate four times that of the economy and nine times that of computer processing speeds. This has created a dire need for professionals who can work in and advance the field of information science, and enterprise leaders have placed more emphasis on training and finding information professionals as the IT talent shortage in the United States grows more pronounced.
Technology Paves the Way for New Career Paths

Many job openings for information technology specialists go unanswered in the United States. Resultingly, American companies are searching around the world for talent to fill their IT ranks. Currently, only a third of information technology experts were born in the country.

A Lack of Talent in the Pipeline

A recent survey revealed that over 40-percent of enterprises believe that a lack of information technology talent prevents them from achieving corporate objectives, and 60-percent of companies are training current employees to fill vacant IT positions, even those who do not have previous data science training. Despite this lack of training, employees’ familiarity with their industry gives them an advantage in their field. United States firms are in such dire need for big data professionals that they will train qualified candidates in whatever skills they lack to fill internal IT roles.

Those who do pursue information technology training study complex topics such as multivariable calculus and linear algebra. Data professionals have an innate curiosity about information and how it can reshape the future. They excel in topics such as statistics, machine learning, and database programming. Data science specialists also learn important skills such as business principles, problem-solving, analytics, and communication.

The Top Tech Jobs on the Career Landscape

Data analytics, social media reporting, data science and security analysis are among the hottest big data-related jobs on the market. The skills are so in-demand that virtually anyone can find opportunities to develop the knowledge they need to work in the IT field – even people with no previous technical training.

Big data specialists are vital to the successful operation of businesses in the United States, and the world. Their work is drastically changing the way that enterprises do business. Ambitious, intelligent career seekers can find ample opportunity in working with big data systems.

There will be approximately 490,000 job openings for IT experts who are skilled in working with the technology by the year 2020. Researchers predict that American business will only be able to fill 200,000 of those forecasted openings. For individuals who are interested in a career in big data, there’s plenty of opportunities available in the United States.


About Sarah Daren

Sarah Daren has been a consultant for startups in multiple industries including business technology, IoT, big data and education. When she's not watching the New York Yankees play, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga and reading a good book on the beach.

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